You might be asking what on sweet Earth is a Self-Care practice?
Let me tell you. Our Western culture has taught us to be polite and to put others needs before our own. Selflessness is heroic. Especially as women, historically we’ve been tasked as care-givers. It’s burned into our psyche.
While selflessness might be good and honorable, if we completely neglect our own care—or worse, if we hand it over to someone else, bad things happen. Resentment, exhaustion, anger and even illness can result. A Self-Care practice is simply a way of being in the world that factors win / win into every interaction. It’s taking care of you, while still caring for others.
Here are four ways you can really take care of yourself and your sanity outside of the occasional hot bath or trip to the spa. Good news—they’re all free.
Practice Radical Honesty. Because politeness is so engrained in our shared culture, it’s almost second nature to say “Sure, I can make it!” even when we dread going on that date, or to that social function. Let me tell you something—practice saying no, and do not give an excuse.
“An excuse is a reason stuffed with a lie.” —Joyce Meyer
The most profound lightness I ever felt, was when I started practicing Radical Honesty. We don’t realize how much we cover up for the sake of fear. We’re so afraid of offending someone, we’d rather lie than take care of our own health and happiness. Ironically, all those little white lies sabotage our integrity and trust in self, making us even more insecure.
Tighten up your boundaries. What most people don’t realize, is that self-care is about boundaries. When you say what you mean, give only when you can give from a place of real generosity (this means without expectation of reciprocation), and put your own needs and that of your family first, peace will flow in your life. If you aren’t filled up and taken care of, you cannot give fully to others.Expecting other people to take care of you is madness. Getting angry when they don’t—even more so. Click To Tweet
Expecting other people to take care of you is madness. Getting angry when they don’t—even more so. No one knows your needs more than you do. So pull up your big-girl panties and take your Power back by taking care of yourself, it’s no one else’s responsibility.
Move your body. Get to the gym, take a yoga class or get out for a walk. Movement improves your brain function, elevates endorphins, and increases creativity. Your body was meant to move, and starts to break down when it doesn’t. Not only will your future self thank you, but you’ll feel better immediately.
Another reason to move is that emotions and trauma can get stuck in your body and cause all kinds of issues. Movement such as yoga, tai chi, weight-lifting or just gentle stretching can help release some of that trapped energy.
Spend more time with friends. Getting together with people who love and care about you is key to a life of happiness. In a 75-year long, ongoing study at Harvard University, it was found that the number one reason people live a long life is because of positive social connections and a sense of belonging. Isolated people die sooner. We’re social creatures, and we need each other.
So go to a movie with a friend, plan a game of golf or host a gathering and invite your best peeps—you’ll thank me later!
I’d love for you to join me in The Bliss Lounge—a free Facebook group where we discuss all things uplifting and fun, in an effort to bring more Bliss to our lives. I’d love to see you there!